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Chicken Plucker - choreographic innovation

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Chicken Plucker - choreographic innovation


The Chicken Plucker routine created by Bill Shymkus appeared in the October 1957 issue of Sets in Order; the same issue contained ads for the new record release by Lee Helsel. This routine is considered by caller and historian Jim Mayo as "a very substantial change in the choreography of square dancing." His lengthy article, originally written in 1988, explores the figure in detail.

Mayo adds: "The Helsel recording was apparently the first recording to use the routine. Shymkus probably sent the routine to SIO and Helsel and/or Osgood recognized it as useful for a recording. The magazine put it in the same issue as the first announcement of the recording probably hoping that callers would find it easier to learn if it was written out."

Chicken Plucker figure, as recorded by Lee Helsel
One and three forward and back
Pass thru separate go 'round one
Into the middle and circle four, full turn
Pass thru, circle four with the outside two
Half way 'round and here we go
Dive thru, pass thru, right and left thru
Dive thru, pass thru, right and left thru the outside two
Dive thru, pass thru, right and left thru the outside two
Dive thru, pass thru, allemande left with your left hand
Grand right and left and promenade


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Item: Chicken Plucker - Lee Helsel is related to This Item
Item: Bill Shymkus is related to This Item